VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Daikoku and the White Hare in Inaba
MNK VI-554
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

The valuable deluxe prints called surimono were made on request for special occasions. This particular print represents not only the magnificent drawings of lines but is especially beautiful because it is enriched with so-called blind printing, silver and gold embossing. A popular Japanese legend tells a story of the white hare of Inaba which wanted to cross a river. It teased a herd of crocodiles by asking them whose family was more numerous. They were persuaded to form a row and the hare ran over their backs across the river, pretending to count them. Contemptuously, the hare admitted to have cheated them and the infuriated crocodiles caught and skinned it. Some playful demons, which were just passing nearby, advised the hare to take a bath in the salt sea water. It was only Daikoku, one of the Seven Gods of Fortune, who took mercy on the poor hare, washed it and wrapped in bulrushes so that it could grow a new coat.

History of the Object
Although in Feliks Jasieński’s collection of books, which is presently in the custody of the Cracow Museum, there are numerous auction catalogues, among which are catalogues of the Barboutau, Bing, Burty, Gillot and Hayashi collections, it is impossible to associate them with specific works of the Jasieński collection on the basis of short descriptions of individual items.

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Type
Print 
Materials
Colour woodblock print on paper, surimono, nishiki-e, kara-zuri 
Measurements
shikishiban-size 
Creator name
Katsushika Hokusai 
Creator date
1760-1849 
Where it was made
Japan 
Geography
Japan 
Time period
AD 19th century ~ AD 19th century 
Creation date
19th Century; 1819 
Function
artwork 
Acquisition
Donated by Feliks Jasieński (1861-1929) in 1920. Feliks Jasieński was a Polish collector, connoisseur, critic and music lover, and outstanding personality. His interest in art and music, as well as his personal intellectual and social qualities, brought him close to the artistic elite of Paris, the capital of art. Feliks Jasieński donated about 15,000 art objects from the Far and Middle East, Poland and other European countries to the National Museum in Cracow. Japanese art was represented by approximately 6,500 items, including paintings, sculptures, fabrics, kimonos, obi sashes, lacquerware, ceramics, enamelware, bronzes, dyeing stencils, decorative art objects, arms and armours. The widest range of 5,000 objects was provided by the most valuable and consistent group of Ukiyo-e woodblock prints which were Jasienski’s first and probably strongest fascination. 
Copyright
The National Museum in Krakow 
Acknowledgements
Beata Romanowicz, Curator of the Far Eastern Art Department, The National Museum in Krakow and Zofia Maria Alber (1924-1999), Former Head Curator of the Far Eastern Art Department, The National Museum in Krakow 
Owner
The National Museum in Krakow 
Museum
The National Museum in Krakow 
Credit line
 
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